New Charter School Numbers In Letter To Feds Regarding $71M Grant

Feb 9, 2016

The Ohio Department of Education is working to keep a $71 million federal grant for charter schools. And the agency is saying Ohio has a lot more failing charter schools than it initially claimed.

The state is telling the feds Ohio has 57 failing charter schools, not six as it claimed in its grant application, and 59 high performing charters, not 93.  The ODE’s Chief Legal Counsel Diane Lease said it’s not that the schools are getting worse – it’s that the state and the feds have different definitions for “high performing” and “poor performing” schools.  "We’ve asked the feds to use the updated state definition because it is a more stringent standard,” Lease said.

But that updated definition still only deals with brick and mortar schools, not online ones.  The feds stopped the grant after the state’s former school choice head admitted leaving out failing grades for some online charter schools on statewide evaluations.